Simple Steps to Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets Economically

Simple Steps to Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets Economically


In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of economically refacing your kitchen cabinets. Many homeowners want to give their kitchen a fresh look without breaking the bank, and refacing cabinets can be an excellent way to achieve that. We’ll address the ten most frequently asked questions about this DIY project, providing you with valuable insights and step-by-step instructions to get the job done efficiently and cost-effectively.


1. What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective kitchen renovation method that involves updating the appearance of your cabinets while keeping the existing cabinet boxes. This process typically includes replacing cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, along with applying a fresh coat of paint or veneer to the cabinet frames.

The Steps for Cabinet Refacing

To reface your kitchen cabinets economically, follow these steps:

  1. Assess Your Cabinets: Determine if your existing cabinet boxes are in good condition and suitable for refacing.
  2. Choose Materials: Select new cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. You can choose between wood veneers, laminates, or paint.
  3. Remove Old Doors and Hardware: Carefully remove the old cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware.
  4. Prepare the Surfaces: Sand or clean the cabinet frames to ensure a smooth surface for veneer or paint application.
  5. Apply Veneer or Paint: If using veneer, carefully apply it to the cabinet frames. Alternatively, paint the frames in your desired color.
  6. Install New Doors and Hardware: Attach the new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, along with updated hardware.
  7. Finishing Touches: Make any necessary adjustments, such as aligning doors and drawers properly.
  8. Enjoy Your Updated Kitchen: Admire your transformed kitchen space.

By following these steps, you can achieve a kitchen cabinet makeover that’s both cost-effective and visually appealing.

2. What Are the Benefits of Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing offers several advantages that make it an attractive option for homeowners looking to update their kitchens economically. Here are some key benefits:


Compared to a full kitchen remodel, cabinet refacing is a much more budget-friendly option. You can achieve a fresh look for your kitchen without the high costs of replacing all the cabinets.


Refacing cabinets is a quicker process than a complete cabinet replacement or kitchen renovation. You can typically complete the project in a matter of days rather than weeks.

Minimal Disruption:

Since the cabinet boxes remain in place, there is less disruption to your kitchen during the refacing process. You can continue to use your kitchen while the work is being done.


Refacing allows you to choose new cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, giving you the opportunity to customize your kitchen’s appearance.


By reusing existing cabinet boxes, you reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable kitchen renovation.

In summary, cabinet refacing is an economical and environmentally friendly way to update your kitchen’s look while saving time and minimizing disruption.

3. Can I Reface My Cabinets Myself?

Yes, cabinet refacing is a DIY-friendly project that many homeowners can tackle themselves. However, it does require some basic carpentry skills and the right tools. Here are the steps to DIY cabinet refacing:

Tools and Materials Needed:

Before you begin, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Screwdriver
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or veneer
  • New cabinet doors and drawer fronts
  • Hardware
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Clamps

Step-by-Step DIY Cabinet Refacing:

  1. Remove Old Doors and Hardware: Start by removing the old cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware using a screwdriver.
  2. Prepare the Cabinet Frames: Sand or clean the cabinet frames to create a smooth surface for paint or veneer application.
  3. Apply Veneer or Paint: If you’re using veneer, carefully apply it to the cabinet frames. Alternatively, paint the frames in your chosen color.
  4. Install New Doors and Hardware: Attach the new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, along with the updated hardware.
  5. Make Adjustments: Ensure that the doors and drawers are aligned properly and make any necessary adjustments.
  6. Enjoy Your Updated Kitchen: Step back and admire your kitchen’s new look.

While DIY cabinet refacing is achievable for many, it’s essential to have the right tools, patience, and attention to detail. If you’re unsure about your skills, consider consulting with a professional.

4. What is the Cost of Cabinet Refacing?

The cost of cabinet refacing can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the size of your kitchen, the materials you choose, and whether you do the work yourself or hire a professional. Here’s a breakdown of the potential costs involved in cabinet refacing:


The primary cost of cabinet refacing is materials, which typically include new cabinet doors, drawer fronts, veneer, paint, and hardware. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand, depending on the quality and style of the materials you choose.


If you opt for professional installation, labor costs will be a significant portion of your expenses. Labor costs can vary by location and the complexity of the project but are generally lower than a full kitchen remodel.

DIY vs. Professional Installation:

Doing the work yourself can save you on labor costs, but it’s essential to consider your skill level and the time you can commit to the project. Professional installation ensures a high-quality finish but comes at a higher cost.

Additional Costs:

Be prepared for additional expenses such as tools (if you’re doing it yourself), any necessary repairs to the cabinet boxes, and any upgrades or modifications you want to make.

To get an accurate estimate for your cabinet refacing project, it’s advisable to obtain quotes from professionals and compare them with the costs of DIY refacing. Keep in mind that refacing is generally more cost-effective than a full cabinet replacement or kitchen renovation.

5. How Do I Choose the Right Cabinet Refacing Materials?

Choosing the right materials for your cabinet refacing project is crucial to achieving the desired look and durability. Here are some factors to consider when selecting materials:

Cabinet Door Styles:

Consider the style of your kitchen and choose cabinet doors that complement it. Popular styles include shaker, raised panel, and slab doors.

Material Options:

You have several material options for cabinet doors and drawer fronts, including:

  • Wood: Offers a classic and timeless look.
  • Laminate: Provides a wide range of color and design options.
  • Thermofoil: Known for its easy maintenance and durability.
  • MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard): Offers a smooth and paintable surface.


Select a finish that suits your kitchen’s aesthetic. Common finishes include wood stains, paints, and laminates in various colors and patterns.


Choose hardware that complements the overall style of your kitchen. Options include knobs, pulls, and handles in various finishes and designs.


Consider your budget when choosing materials. While high-end materials may offer premium aesthetics, there are budget-friendly options that can still achieve a beautiful result.


Assess the durability of the materials, especially if you have a busy kitchen. Some materials are more resistant to wear and tear than others.


Think about how easy it is to maintain the chosen materials. For example, laminate and thermofoil are relatively low-maintenance, while wood may require more care.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select the right materials for your cabinet refacing project, ensuring a stunning and long-lasting result that fits your budget.

6. How Can I Update the Hardware on My Cabinets?

Updating the hardware on your kitchen cabinets is a simple yet effective way to give your kitchen a fresh look. Whether you’re refacing your cabinets or just looking for a quick makeover, here’s how you can update the hardware:

Steps to Update Cabinet Hardware:

  1. Remove Old Hardware: Use a screwdriver to remove the old knobs, pulls, or handles from your cabinet doors and drawers.
  2. Measure Hole Spacing: Measure the distance between the holes for the new hardware. This measurement will help you choose replacement hardware that fits perfectly.
  3. Select New Hardware: Choose knobs, pulls, or handles that match your kitchen’s style and the hole spacing you measured.
  4. Fill Old Holes: If the new hardware has a different hole spacing, you may need to fill the old holes with wood filler. Allow it to dry, then sand it smooth.
  5. Drill New Holes: Use a drill with the appropriate drill bit to create holes for the new hardware. Be sure to align them precisely.
  6. Attach New Hardware: Screw the new knobs, pulls, or handles into place using the holes you drilled.
  7. Check Alignment: Ensure that all the hardware is aligned properly and securely attached.
  8. Enjoy the Transformation: Step back and admire how the updated hardware has refreshed your cabinets.

Updating cabinet hardware is a cost-effective and relatively simple DIY project that can make a noticeable difference in your kitchen’s appearance. It allows you to add a personal touch and customize the look to your liking.

7. What Colors and Finishes are Trending in Cabinet Refacing?

When it comes to cabinet refacing, staying up-to-date with current color and finish trends can help you achieve a stylish and modern kitchen. Here are some trending colors and finishes for cabinet refacing:

Neutral Tones:

Neutral colors like white, gray, and beige continue to be popular choices for cabinet refacing. They create a timeless and versatile backdrop for various kitchen styles.

Bold and Dark Hues:

In recent years, darker cabinet colors, such as navy blue, deep green, and charcoal gray, have gained popularity. These bold hues add drama and sophistication to the kitchen.

Two-Tone Cabinets:

Combining two different cabinet colors or finishes within the same kitchen is a trend that offers a unique and visually appealing contrast.

Natural Wood Tones:

Natural wood finishes, such as oak, walnut, and cherry, are making a comeback. They bring warmth and a connection to nature to the kitchen.

Matte Finishes:

Matte finishes, as opposed to glossy ones, are in demand for their understated elegance and resistance to fingerprints and smudges.

Open Shelving:

While not a color or finish, open shelving is a trend in kitchen design. Consider incorporating open shelves alongside refaced cabinets for a modern and functional look.

When choosing colors and finishes for your cabinet refacing project, consider your kitchen’s style, lighting, and overall aesthetic. It’s also a good idea to consult with design professionals or browse kitchen design magazines for inspiration.

8. Can I Add Additional Cabinets During Refacing?

Yes, you can add additional cabinets to your kitchen during the cabinet refacing process. This is an excellent opportunity to increase your kitchen’s storage and functionality without the cost and disruption of a full remodel. Here’s how you can do it:

Steps to Add Additional Cabinets:

  1. Assess Available Space: Identify areas in your kitchen where you have space to add cabinets. Common locations include empty walls or gaps between existing cabinets.
  2. Plan Cabinet Layout: Determine the size and configuration of the additional cabinets you want to install. Consider both upper and lower cabinets.
  3. Choose Matching Materials: Select cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware that match the materials and style of your existing cabinets. This ensures a cohesive look.
  4. Measure and Prepare: Measure the space where the new cabinets will go and prepare the wall or floor as needed. Ensure that it can support the weight of the cabinets.
  5. Install New Cabinets: Assemble and install the new cabinets according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use appropriate wall anchors and brackets to secure them in place.
  6. Connect to Existing Cabinets: If adding cabinets adjacent to existing ones, ensure they are level and align with the existing cabinets. You may need to adjust the existing cabinets slightly for a seamless fit.
  7. Finish and Hardware: Apply the same finish or paint as your existing cabinets, and install matching hardware on the new cabinets.
  8. Adjust and Align: Make anynecessary adjustments to ensure that all doors and drawers align properly with your new and existing cabinets.
    1. Fill and Paint: Fill any gaps or seams between the new and existing cabinets with wood filler, and touch up the paint or finish to create a seamless appearance.
    2. Enjoy the Added Storage: Step back and appreciate the increased storage space and functionality that your newly added cabinets bring to your kitchen.

    Adding cabinets during the cabinet refacing process is a cost-effective way to enhance your kitchen’s storage capacity and make the most of available space. Just be sure to plan the layout carefully, choose matching materials, and take your time with the installation to achieve a cohesive and functional result.

    9. How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Typically Take?

    The duration of a cabinet refacing project can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your kitchen, the complexity of the job, and whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring professionals. Here’s a general timeline to give you an idea of how long cabinet refacing typically takes:

    1. Planning and Design (1-2 weeks): This phase involves selecting materials, ordering new cabinet doors and hardware, and planning the project’s details.
    2. Preparation (1-2 days): Before refacing can begin, you’ll need to remove the old cabinet doors and hardware, clean or sand the cabinet frames, and ensure all surfaces are ready for the new materials.
    3. Cabinet Refacing (2-5 days): The actual refacing process can take anywhere from a couple of days to about a week, depending on the size of your kitchen and whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring professionals.
    4. Curing and Drying (1-2 days): If you’re using paint or veneer, you’ll need to allow time for curing and drying before reinstalling cabinet doors and hardware.
    5. Installation (1-2 days): Installing the new cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware typically takes one to two days.
    6. Final Adjustments (1 day): After installation, you may need to make final adjustments to ensure everything aligns correctly and functions smoothly.
    7. Cleanup and Enjoyment: Once all the work is complete, take some time to clean up your kitchen and enjoy your refreshed space.

    In total, you can expect a cabinet refacing project to take anywhere from two to four weeks, with a significant portion of that time dedicated to planning, preparation, and allowing materials to cure or dry. Keep in mind that professional installers may be able to complete the project more quickly than a DIY enthusiast.

    10. How Can I Maintain Refaced Cabinets?

    Proper maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity and beauty of your refaced cabinets. Here are some tips on how to maintain your cabinets effectively:

    Daily Cleaning:

    • Wipe down cabinet doors and drawer fronts with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust, grease, and spills.
    • Avoid using abrasive or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the finish.
    • Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner specifically designed for wood, laminate, or the cabinet material you have.

    Preventative Measures:

    • Install cabinet door bumpers or soft-close hardware to prevent slamming and protect the finish.
    • Use cabinet liners or mats to protect the interior of cabinets from spills and scratches.
    • Avoid hanging damp or wet dish towels on cabinet doors, as moisture can damage the finish over time.

    Regular Maintenance:

    • Inspect your cabinets periodically for any loose hardware or signs of wear and tear.
    • Tighten loose screws or bolts on hinges and handles.
    • Address any damage or chips in the finish promptly to prevent further deterioration.
    • Keep the kitchen well-ventilated to prevent excessive moisture, which can affect wood cabinets.

    Seasonal Care:

    • In humid climates, consider using a dehumidifier to maintain optimal humidity levels in your kitchen.
    • In extremely dry conditions, use a humidifier to prevent wood cabinets from drying out and cracking.

    By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your refaced cabinets looking beautiful and ensure they stand the test of time. Regular care and attention will help preserve the value of your kitchen renovation investment.

    In conclusion, cabinet refacing is a cost-effective and rewarding way to update your kitchen cabinets without the expense of a full remodel. By understanding the process, materials, and maintenance involved, you can embark on this DIY project or work with professionals to achieve a refreshed and stylish kitchen that suits your budget and tastes.

Read: Benefits of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets and Ways to Save Money

Read: Cost-Effective Ways to Reface Kitchen Cabinets

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